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Old 28-11-2009, 07:58   #2 (permalink)
Markulous
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Peak District
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Markulous is a jewel in the rough
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Re: 3rd party batteries

I divide Li-ion batteries into four categories:
1. OEM. Relatively expensive but works well and is safe
2. Branded copy, some unbranded, often counterfeit with OEM markings. Less expensive but works well and is safe
3. Unbranded copy. Cheap, OK for a while, dubious safety (may overheat on charging)
4. Unbranded copy, usually counterfeit with OEM markings. Very cheap but is a total con as it contains NiMH batteries, so isn't even a Li-ion!

Li-ion batteries should have internal circuitry to control overpressure (and so a relief valve), prevent overcharging and running flat. Overpressure can lead to battery bursting, overcharge to overheat and melting and running flat will stop the battery ever working again. Add to this the capability of poor quality or damaged batteries able to release their energy instantly (i.e. explode/catch fire) and you can see why manufacturers recall poorly made batteries - and why care needs to be taken with Li-ion batteries!

Personally, I've used pretty much every sort (except the 'dummies' with NiMH) at one time or another - and currently use branded in all my gear (as the originals have usually given up the ghost).

Oh, one other 'feature' of Li-ion is that they start degrading from date of manufacture and so whether you use them or not they'll only last 2 or 3 years max - so watch getting old stock. I've had that too - with the High street mobile shop claiming that I didn't charge my phone correctly - which is total rubbish as you can recharge Li-ion at any time (i.e. no need to let it go flat). I got my money back but needless to say I won't ever use Carphone Warehouse again!
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